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Monday, January 3, 2011

My Beginnings in Music..... by Kristen Rau

My interest in singing started in sort of a weird way. When I was 13, one of my great uncles passed away. He was closest to my grandmother and he meant a great deal to her. To honor him, my mother wanted to sing a song by Holly Dunn called "Daddy's Hands" at his funeral. On a whim, my mother asked me to sing with her. We sang over the phone to my cousin, Regan, just a few bars of the song, and she immediately said we had to do it!!

At the funeral, everyone loved our singing. It was very awkward, singing at a funeral. The next thing I know, my cousin Regan is telling me about this little coffee shop, in Waco,Tx, called Higher Grounds, that has weekly karaoke contests. I had never sang in front of people before now, and was a little apprehensive, but with a little coaxing from my Mom, I figured "What the heck!"

So, we went for a few weeks, sat back, and just listened. I was scared to death. We made trips to the local music store, bought some karaoke cds, and I started practicing. I was into country back then, and I wanted to sing some Miranda Lambert, Martina Mcbride, etc. Martina was one of my idols then, and still is. She is a genuine person and has remained that way even with the fame.

Anyway, I finally decided to sing one night and performed "Blue", by LeAnn Rimes. Everyone loved it!! My knees were shaking and I was so nauseous! But it created a spark in me that night, and I knew I had found something that I truly enjoyed. About a month later, I entered one of their bigger contests, performed Martina McBrides "Broken Wing" and WON!! I was SHOCKED!! After that, I just kept going.

I entered the kids karaoke contest at the HOT Fair every year until I was 17. I never won, but kept doing it because I KNEW I belonged on that stage behind a microphone. I tried out for AI when I was 16, only got to the the first round of judges, where they told me that I had a beautiful voice, but that I needed to work on my confidence. They were right! So the next year, I took my confident self back and tried again! They didn't even notice me! It didn't upset me, but some of my fellow competitors actually started yelling at the judges things like "What? Are you mad?? She's good" I told them thanks, but not to worry, these people would not keep me from doing what I was meant to do!

After that, I slowed down on the music for a while. I wanted to focus on school and my friends. I mean, I was going to graduate soon and I didn't want to miss anything. I was in Drama, Band, and became Drum Major my senior year. That was a blast. I graduated in 2009, and then it was off to college and back to my music FULL FORCE!!

I began attending McLennan Community College in the fall of 2009, where I was accepted into the commercial music program, majoring in musical performance. I have grown so much musically since I started their academic program. I have an amazing set of professors and have been fortunate enough to have worked with them all. I have also been introduced and am now friends with some of the most talented musicians from all over the US that attend MCC in the commercial music program.

I am fortunate to have all the support one can hope for from family (especially my Mom!), awesome friends, and the Lord above himself. I thank God everyday for giving me the gift of music. I will never give up on my dream to be a professional recording artist/singer-songwriter. I feel in my heart of hearts that this is what I was meant to do!

Putting smiles on peoples faces when I perform, whether it be at a nursing home,hospital; or one of my shows at a local bar, I love the crowd reaction and get totally caught up in it. I can't see myself EVER doing anything else. Music is my heart and soul, and I can't wait to share that with the world.


  1. Absolutely beautiful! What a talent!

  2. I've said it before and I will say it again.. She is going places!